Crews From Across the Country Begin Racing at 2019 USRowing Masters National Championships

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Racing at the 2019 USRowing Masters National Championships began Thursday morning and included crews from across the United States and a few international locations. 

One American crew drove, trailer attached, for over 15 hours, from Alexandria, Va., to get to Riverside Park. 

“[We traveled this far] because we love masters nationals; we’ve done it for the last five years as a team,” said Jennifer Bright, a rower for Alexandria Community Rowing. “This year, it is in Michigan, so here we are.”

Having only rowed for the first time five years ago, rowing has given Pam Jones, another member of ACR, a new sort of community.

“Masters rowing has been a lot of fun,” said Jones. “It’s such a community. You start to know people. We just saw people walk by from Asheville, and we know people from California, so it’s become a real community nationwide.”

Jones has used rowing to keep active after her competitive volleyball days came to an end.

“I can’t jump up and down anymore like I used to, so this is a sport I can do with my achy joints,” joked Jones. “It’s been amazing. I can’t believe nobody brought up rowing to me before.”

Bright began rowing in college and has continued rowing ever since.

“I’ve been with ACR for 21 years,” said Bright. “I started at Trinity College in Washington D.C. where we had one eight and one four. I found an oar in my hand one day, and I’ve never looked back.”

Rowing will continue Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. with heats and semifinals before the finals in those events begin around 3:30 p.m. Finals will run until almost 8:00 p.m. Rowers, family, friends, and spectators can enjoy the park for free, which features food trucks, a beer garden, vendor tents, and much more in addition to the racing. 

Each day’s finals races will be streamed live on USRowing’s YouTube channel. Results from each day’s racing and the upcoming schedule will be available on HereNOW. Entries, club lists, and more event information can be found on RegattaCentral. Photos of the event will be posted on usrowing.photos by the end of each day. The event is being hosted in partnership with the West Michigan Sports Commission and the West Michigan River Sports Association. USRowing would like to thank Connect-A-Dock for sponsoring this year’s USRowing Masters National Championships. 

In conjunction with AssuredPartners, Burnham Boat Slings, Gutzy, Neilsen-Kellerman, RowAmerica, Rower, and Vespoli, USRowing Productions is able to stream the event finals live on our YouTube page and on the Jumbotron at masters nationals. This allows rowing fans in the venue and from across the country the opportunity to be part of one of the biggest rowing events in the United States in 2019.

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